Cottonmouth in typical ambush position near the edge of a drift fence – Houston Chandler

The Cottonmouth Myth

There may not be another animal on the planet that receives as much unfounded descriptions of aggression and viciousness as the cottonmouth (Agkistrodon piscivorus). It seems that almost everyone in the south has some type of cottonmouth story, whether a first-hand account or a story passed along by a family member or friend. The one […]

Celebrating southeastern wetlands: An unappreciated resource

I have spent countless hours wandering through wetlands in the southeastern Coastal Plain, usually in search of animals that most people will never have the opportunity to observe in their natural environment. Some of the prettiest places that I have stumbled upon can only be accessed by getting your feet wet and exploring off the […]

Using species distribution models to inform conservation

Identifying where species occur is an important but challenging aspect of many conservation projects. Species occurrence can be thought of in several ways. At the most basic level, it describes the geographic area in which a species can be found. This is the range map that everyone has seen in one field guide or another. […]

Flatwoods Salamander Conservation

            At the end of January, I found myself back in school at Virginia Tech pursuing a PhD after nearly four years of working in the real world. There were many factors that went into this decision, including getting to a point in life where it needed to happen soon if it was going to […]

Conservation Lessons from New Zealand’s Imperiled Herpetofauna

            New Zealand is composed of a collection of islands located in the southern Pacific Ocean. The land mass that eventually formed these islands broke away from other land masses between 80 and 65 million years ago. Today, New Zealand is located approximately 2,000 km from Australia and 1,000 km from the closest Pacific islands. […]